Hello There

My thoughts about Traditional Witchcraft, Wicca, cooking, gardening, and anything else that catches my fancy.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Sick, Sick, Sick

Learn from my story, and don't take too many antibiotics! I took lots of them over the years, for acne and sinus infections and all kinds of things. As a result, a couple of years ago I developed a really bad stomach infection that results when you've killed off all the "good bacteria" in your gut, and the bad ones then have a chance to grow. A course of meds got rid of it, but I've since had two recurrences, one being right now. At the moment, I'm very sick and going to the doctor in an hour or so.

Scary stuff. You can die from what I have, though I don't think I will because I'm reasonably young, I've caught it early, and I'm getting treatment. However, I've been researching it and it appears that now, healthy people who've not ever taken antibiotics are getting it (it's called "Clostridium Difficile, by the way.) Because we're so accustomed to demanding pills every time we go to the doctor, and because we use antibiotic "wet wipes" and hand sanitizer and the like on every single dirty surface, we've managed to create super-bugs that resist treatment, and weakened our immune systems to boot.

Wish me luck everybody! I'm not terrified (yet) but I am worried, and I'm pretty sick. I'll let everybody know how the doctor goes.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Winter Stew

This is a family recipe that my Mom's made for years, and I always look forward to it. It's absolutely amazing in the cold, cold Winter. It's supposed to be on the spicy side, so fiddle with the chili powder as needed. I usually serve it with crackers.

5 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 lb. lean stew beef
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced
2 16oz. cans diced tomatoes
1 can Rotel tomatoes, original flavour
1-2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1-2 tbs chili powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 lb. baby carrots
2 baking potatoes, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 can peas
1 can corn kernels

Cook the bacon in a large Dutch oven, remove (reserving grease.) Brown the stew meat in the grease, add onions and garlic and saute until translucent. Reduce heat to low. Add 4 cups water, all three cans of tomatoes with their juices, salt and pepper, the chili powder, and the Worcestershire sauce. Simmer on low for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the meat is very tender. Peel and cut potato into bite size chunks, and add potatoes and carrots to pot. Cook at least 1 more hour, stirring occasionally, until potatoes and carrots are very tender. Drain the peas and corn, and add to pot, heating another 10 minutes or so until heated through. Salt, pepper, and serve with crackers.

I hope you all love this as much as I do!

Friday, January 14, 2011

A Pagan Questionnaire

I found this on Sarah Lawless's (The Witch of Forest Grove) site, and had to fill it out. Some of the questions are goofy, but it will at least give everyone a better idea of where I come from.

So, the questions:

Do you have a magical/Pagan name? Kind of. I have a name I use of forums to protect my privacy. Not because I don't want people to know what I do, but because there are psychos on the internet and I've had bad experiences.

How did you find Paganism? Even when I was little, I always wanted to be a witch. My parents told me that witches didn't exist, and if they did they were girls. Regardless, I still tried to do magic my own way, and always felt that witches WERE real, and I was one. When I got older, I came across Wicca in some tabloid and thought "AH HA! I knew it. Not only are Witches real, but they aren't crazy and aren't Satanic." I felt totally vindicated.

How long have you been practicing? Off and on for almost my whole life

Are you out of the broom closet? Yep

Solitary or group practitioner? Both. Right now I really only do solo stuff but I've done groups in the past.

What is your path? Honestly, I just call myself a Witch. I don't consider myself a Wiccan, but I'm not "dark" enough to be a "Traditional Witch" either. I'm just me.


What’s your brand of deism? Animism/polytheism

Who is your patron God? A little too private for forums

Who is your patron Goddess? See above

What Gods do you worship? See above

Do you fear darkly aspected Gods/Goddesses, or rather respect them? Both? You need to be respectful, and have a certain awe of their power, but I don't "fear" them in the way Christians talk about their god (as some hateful, vengeful sadist.)

Do you worship the Christian God? Nope. I'm not too sold on the idea of "Christian witchcraft" and the very concept of "Christian Wicca" is absurd. Anybody can do magic, but I find the god of the Bible to be abhorrent and anyway the Bible pretty clearly states you shouldn't practice magic. Then again, people DO pick and choose what they decide to follow, but I still think the concept is kind of silly.

Do you worship animals? Or plants? Respect and work with, yes. Worship no.


Do you regularly commune with nature? I love nature, I like being out in nature, and I feel most spiritual and witchy in nature. Is that the same as "communing" with it? You tell me.

Taken a camping trip just to talk to nature? No

Describe the moment you felt closest to Mother Earth? I think of many parts of the Earth as being more male, so "Mother" is a bit off here. I guess when I step back and look at the cycle of life and how we all fit into it.

Do you have a familiar? Not in so many words

Have you ever called upon the powers of an animal in ritual? Yes.

Or a plant? Yes.

Do you hug trees? No, that sounds campy and silly

Give them gifts? Water

What is are your favourite flower plants to work with? Lavender, Peppermint, Ginger

What are your favourite trees to work with? Ash, Rowan, Hazel, Blackthorn


What is your favourite holiday? Samhain

What is your least favourite holiday? Does not apply

Have you ever held a ritual on a holiday? Of course

Ever taken a day off work to celebrate a Pagan holiday? Yes

Do you celebrate Yule on the 21st rather than the 25th? I do both

Have you ever felt the veil thin? Yes

Ever danced the Maypole? No

Know what the Maypole symbolizes? Yep. I'm gay, figure it out

How do you usually celebrate the Pagan holidays? I decorate my altar in special colours, do a private ritual


Do you use Tarot? Nope

Do you use runes?Nope

Do you use a pendulum? Yes

Do you use dowsing rods? Sometimes.

Do you use astrology? Only for spells

Any other forms of divination? Dreams, symbols, and I've attempted scrying


What was the first spell you did? Too long ago to remember

What was the latest? A protection spell, and a healing spell

Ever done a love spell? Yes, many times

A job spell? Of course

A healing spell? Lots of them

What was the most powerful spell you’ve ever performed? I've done a few where I literally felt tingly and "not all there." Wild!

What deities do you usually call on? None, usually. I don't really involve them much in spellcasting


Do you believe in vampires? Not the kind from folklore, or the idiot Goths who think nicking their girlfriend's finger and drinking the blood makes them a vampire. Perhaps as a form of dangerous ghost or spirit. There are definitely human, psychic vampires though. I don't mean the other kind of Goth who thinks they "eat Psi" or whatever, but people who get health and vitality by draining others of theirs

Werewolves? Not really. A werewolf would have just looked like a real, actual wolf: not a hairy man. Who knows? Never say never.

Shapeshifters? Perhaps. I know people can do it psychically if not physically. It's outside of my experience

Elves? Fairies

Fairies? Yes, but not the Disney kind

Dragons? No

Nymphs? See Fairies.

Sprites? See Fairies.

Mermaids? Not really, no

Satyrs? As a spirit, maybe

Ever “seen” any of the above? Not to my knowledge

Ever used any of the above in magic? I don't think anybody "uses" a spirit in magic. The very idea is insulting

Do you have one of them as a personal guardian? No, nor do I believe in "Otherkin" or whatever those furries call themselves


Do you see a rabbit, a man or a woman in the moon? No

Own a cat? Yep, two inside ones and two outside ones

When you meditate, what does your happy place look like? My "happy place?"

Do you work with chakras? No

Do you believe in past lives? Yes

If so, describe a few briefly: I don't think it pays to dwell too much on that, living NOW is what's important

Do you believe in soul mates? Yes

Do you have a spirit guide? No

Is it always love and light? Of course not. Anybody who thinks so is crazy. Awful things happen, good people die, one grows old and frail, people starve to death in the streets while we in American are morbidly obese and yet continue to stuff our faces with garbage....no, it's not all love and light. I don't believe in the kinds of Gods who function solely to get us parking spaces and to make us happy; they've got their own thing going on. I think it's up to US to make this world better.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Lovely New Owl!

My friend Erin gave me an owl mug for Christmas. Isn't he cute? I have named him Professor Peepers, and keep him safely on my Owl Shelf.

For those of you who don't know, I am obsessed with owls and have an ever-expanding collection of owl-related memorabilia. From paintings to statues to bath towels, if it's got an owl on it, I want it. So, if you ever need an idea about what to get me for a present.....

Good News!

I took my Written State Board yesterday, and I passed with a 93 percent! I'm only one step away from becoming a fully-licensed Cosmetologist! My health continues to improve and with any luck I'll be able to return to work in a full-time capacity in the next 6 months or so.

Friday, January 7, 2011

More New Witchy Pics

Ok, I've done a better shot of my new armoire that I'm using for my magical workstation. Also, I got a beautiful new hand-carved Hazel wand from a craftsman called Word Wyzard, which I'd like to show off a bit.

For those of you that don't know, I'm a bit of a wand junkie. I love the magic of woods and stones, so I'm constantly ordering new ones to experiment with different combinations. I don't use all of them all the time, but they DO all have their place, and I treasure each one of them.

My beautiful new armoire, above. Thanks to my sister for giving it to me, it's just what I needed!

And here's my new Hazel wand. Hand-carved, with a hazelnut carved into the butt of it. So nice!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Witchcraft: Facts and Misconceptions

There's so much misinformation floating around the world today about what Witchcraft is and isn't, and I thought I'd do my best to try and clear some of that up, as well as explain more about my personal path. To start off, here's some of the myths and false beliefs that rile me up the MOST.

Myth One: "All witches are Wiccans. Wicca is 30,000 years old, and if you've not been properly initiated into a Gardnerian coven, you cannot call yourself a witch."

This one is so silly, I don't even know where to start. First of all, Wicca was founded by Gardner in the late '40's in England, cobbled together from bits of historical British Witchcraft, some Eastern philosophy, Ceremonial Magic, and Masonry (particularly the degree system.) Though he claimed otherwise, he did not find some ancient "Book of Shadows" (a term he discovered in a magazine article about divination) or an unbroken tradition. He might have come across a group of Theosophists or other occultists and integrated some of what they believed into his own system, but that's not the same as passing down some ancient tradition. Unfortunately, many of the early modern Witchcraft traditions suffered from similar issues of "Fakelore" being handed off as though it were the truth. It doesn't mean that these traditions (Wicca, the Clan of Tubal Cain, and others) are invalid, or that they don't have meaning, but it DOES mean that none of them can claim to be the one, true, authentic "Witchcraft." It's certainly not true that there weren't any Witches prior to the 50's.

I might add here that real Wicca does not resemble the syrupy, shapeless fluff that currently dominates the market. Unfortunately, with the influx of teenage Christian wanna-be's Wicca has been watered down until it resembles Christianity with a Goddess thrown in. This does not, in any way, accurately reflect Gardner's original vision. There were and are some very dark rituals in Wicca in which sex and death are the main themes, and in which nudity and scourging take place. Wicca is, after all, a fertility religion. Even the "harm none" advice has been taken by the ill-informed to ludicrous levels where it resembles "turn the other cheek" instead of the common sense it once advocated. Perhaps most tellingly, "harm none" was not part of Wicca's origins and is a completely foreign concept to traditional Witchcraft practices. I won't even give the absurd concept of "Christian Wicca" any more validation than it already has, except to say that the concept is ludicrous and impossible.

Myth Two: "Witches believe in karma and the "rule of three" and never do any spells on anyone without their permission. Witches never use defensive magic or curses."

Again, this is modern NeoPagan thinking here. A huge part of traditional magic did indeed involve hexes, defensive magic, love spells designed to make a certain individual fall in love with you. "Karma" is an Eastern concept that would have been foreign to European folk magic practitioners, and which has little place in most Western magical traditions. Not only is this line of thinking not traditional, but it smacks of the kind of Christian masochism that I think leads to all kinds of abuses. There is nothing brave or good about "turning the other cheek" and allowing yourself to be abused, or in failing to use magic (as well as legal and other means) to defend yourself or bring justice to a criminal or dangerous person. The "meek" will not inherit the Earth, and suffering and pain are not "holy" or desirable traditions.

In my own practice, I look at things like this: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you (which is NOT solely a Christian statement) until they give you reason not to. After that, all bets are off. I would never curse somebody for selfish reasons, or because I wanted their job or something they had. However, if somebody were threatening me, or somebody I loved, I would be more than willing to use all the magical methods at my disposal ( as well as obvious ones, like the police and legal system) for protection and justice. I have done it in the past, and I am sure I will do it again. When it comes to love spells, well, who DOESN'T manipulate others? We wear special clothes to look attractive. We try and find out what the object of our affections enjoys so we can talk about it and have something in common. We light candles and turn on music and use fragrance to "set the mood" and encourage romance. Now, if we do those things to influence people to fall in love with us, why is magic any different? I think there has to be a spark there already, something to work with, for your action to succeed. If there isn't already at least a tiny bit of latent attraction then nothing, whether magical or mundane, is going to work.

I will post more of these later on after I've had a bit of a rest.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A New Cabinet, A New Book, and Sundry

Lucky me, my sister moved and gave me her old HUGE armoire. Turns out, this was just what I needed to hold my magical supplies. I had been using a bookshelf, but it was short and in the tiny dressing-room thing I have at my apartment, so it was out of the way and inconvenient. The new armoire, on the other hand, is absolutely massive and has loads of shelves, drawers, cabinets, etc perfect for all my treasures. I only have the following, terrible quality pic at the moment but will do a better one when I'm feeling better.

In other news, fingers crossed I'll be getting a proper "book" soon. I don't really call my book a "Book of Shadows" because that's a Wiccan term, and I am not a Wiccan. However, "Grimoire" sounds pretentious, and my other favoured term "recipe book" makes it sound like something I'm going to use to make a cake. So, I just go by "book." I've got a REALLY neat one planned out, just working out the details with the craftsman who's going to be making it for me. So excited! I will of course post copious pics as soon as I get it.